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2011 WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Day 4: Soi Nguyen Leads; Esfandiari Still In

Antonio Esfandiari

The World Poker Tour Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic continued on Friday as the remaining 49 players of a 413-player field marched toward the final table. Unfortunately, they couldn’t quite get there as 13 players ended up surviving the day. Among them is chip leader Soi Nguyen, who bagged up 3.1 million. His closest competitor is Andrew Lichtenberger (2,114,000), and a laundry list of pros round out the top 13 including David Williams, Vanessa Selbst, William Reynolds, and Antonio Esfandiari, with the latter looking to defend his Five Diamond title.

Nguyen, a former World Series of Poker November Niner, couldn’t seem to miss on Day 4, as evidenced by a hand that pushed him over the three-million chip mark late in the day. According to the WPT Live Reporting Team, Brent Roberts ended up moving all-in after several raises on a flop of {J-Diamonds}{8-Hearts}{7-Spades}. Nguyen called and discovered that he was in a bad spot:

Showdown
Nguyen: {A-Hearts}{J-Hearts}
Roberts: {K-Clubs}{K-Hearts}

The {6-Clubs} turn brought Roberts one step closer to a double up, but the {J-Clubs} spiked on the river to give Nguyen trips and the win. Roberts was eliminated in 20th place ($31,845) and Nguyen chipped up to 3,295,000.

Esfandiari did not have as much luck as Nguyen, but he did his fair share of damage throughout the day. In one hand, Ty Reiman moved all-in under the gun for 206,000 and was called by both Esfandiari and Vitor Coelho. When the flop came down {A-Spades}{Q-Spades}{5-Diamonds}, Esfandiari led out for 150,000, which prompted Coelho to fold. Reiman turned over {2-Clubs}{2-Spades} and was far behind the {A-Clubs}{A-Hearts} of the defending champ. The {6-Spades} turn gave Reiman a sweat, but the {9-Diamonds} flop eliminated him in 17th place ($31,845).

Others who found themselves making a trip to the payout desk on Day 4 were Allen Cunningham (46th - $15,922), Jonathan Little (43rd - $15,922), Dwyte Pilgrim (37th - $19,903), Matt Glantz (25th - $23,884), David Steicke (19th - $31,845), and Tony Dunst (18th - $31,845), just to name a few.

Two other players also joined the list of eliminations right before night’s end; in fact, it occurred in the last hand of the evening. It happened when Blake Kelso opened for 36,000, Lichtenberger three-bet to 80,000 from the cutoff, and Selbst called from the button. Matt Marafioti then moved all-in from the big blind, Kelso did the same, and Lichtenberger made the call. Selbst got out of the way and the cards were turned up:

Showdown
Marafioti: {A-Spades}{K-Diamonds}
Kelso: {A-Diamonds}{K-Hearts}
Lichtenberger: {K-Spades}{K-Clubs}

Lichtenberger was looking to dodge an ace to send his two opponents to the rail, which is exactly what he did when the board ran out {10-Spades}{2-Spades}{3-Spades}{10-Hearts}{9-Clubs}. Marafioti hit the rail in 15th place and Kelso in 14th, both earning $39,806 for their efforts; meanwhile, Lichtenberger shot to second place in the chip counts.

Day 5 gets under way at 1200 PST (2000 GMT) on Saturday. Can Esfandiari become the first player in WPT history to win the same event twice. Here’s a look at the chip counts when play resumes:

WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic Final 13 Chip Counts

PlacePlayerChip Count
1Soi Nguyen3,100,000
2Andrew Lichtenberger2,114,000
3James Dempsey1,877,000
4Larry Wells704,000
5Antonio Esfandiari1,099,000
6Kyle Julius1,097,000
7Anthony Yeh1,091,000
8Vitor Coelho950,000
9Braden Hall926,000
10Vanessa Selbst869,000
11David Williams748,000
12Rudy Maarek706,000
13William Reynolds565,000

*Photo courtesy of the World Poker Tour.

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